lurkitty: (proud)
This is a red letter week for Oregon.

We've signed Civil Unions into law. It took a change in balance of the legislature so that both houses of the legislature are Democratic to do it.

Now Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (who voted against funding the war from the beginning, by the way) has teemed with Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) on the Internet Radio Equality Act of 2007.

The act overturns the decision of the Copyright Royalty Board and makes internet radio rates commensurate with those paid by satellite radio - 7.5 percent of total revenues.

I love this quote from the arstechnica story:
"Our bill is about standing up for folks ranging from a small webcaster in a basement in Corvallis to an innovative startup in Beaverton to a new band trying to be heard in Portland to a huge music fan in Coos Bay," said Wyden, a statement which raises the obvious question: who named all these towns in Oregon, anyway?

A bit of trivia - What is now Oregon Public Broadcasting, one of the oldest public broadcasting stations in the US, did start in the basement of the engineering building at Oregon State University in Corvallis. KOAC (K Oregon Agricultural College) started up with students reporting all the farm news on AM.
lurkitty: (proud)
I adore George Takei's video responseon the Jimmy Kimmel Show to Tim "I hate gays" Hardaway.
lurkitty: (Default)
One of my all-time favorite musicals is Cabaret. There are so many timeless lessons packed into that little musical, and so much fine writing. One of my favorite scenes is the Emcee dancing with a gorilla singing "If You Could See Her Through My Eyes". The whole bit plays out in the end when he should say "she wouldn't look ugly at all" and he substitutes the word "Jewish" in a loud stage whisper. It is one of those gotchas -- when you realize that you've just been caught laughing at a really, truly sick and wrong joke. We find that behavior unacceptable nowadays. We shake our heads and say, "Those horrible Nazis. I'd never stand for that" (and we go on making jokes about ragheads). Seriously, we don't stand for that sort of denigration.

Even as late as college, I can recall going to speech tournaments in Northern Idaho and encountering restaurants with signs in front that said, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone". My black friends stayed on the bus. I asked why. They knew from the sign they would not be served. We don't stand for that any more.

So why, I ask you, do some of my most liberal friends throw the term "gay" around so lightly? It makes me shudder! I have never heard any of them say, for instance, "that is so Mexican of you". It sounds silly. Identifying a behavior as gay or straight seems to me to be perpetuating a stereotype. So what if a guy wants to wear a skirt? Some guys look really good in kilts! Women wear pants all the time. A guy collects art or likes musical theatre. Maybe he likes to cook and has his own collection of dishes. Or he's tidy.

So we play the game, we identify all these things that are supposed to be gay, and we buy into the notion that gay people are alien creatures with all sorts of weird behavior patterns. Then we get back to the notion that Homosexuality is pathological and that is a road we really don't want to travel, folks!

Cabaret came out in 1966. Another of its themes was coming to terms with homosexuality. We still don't seem to have done that.

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lurkitty

August 2011

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